5 tips for talking to millennials about financial planning

  • 4 March 2024
  • Blog | Leadership & Strategy | Blog

We look at a range of different strategies for engaging with Gen Y about personal financial planning.  

1. Simplicity first…  

Joseph George, CEO, Dufrain, is very much of the opinion that convenience is key for this generation. “If, when it comes to day-to-day banking, millennials can sort something out without having to speak to someone, that's what they will opt to do – and tech makes that possible. 

“But when we get into specialist products, I think a lot of people would really appreciate service that goes above and beyond what an app or digital-banking experience can offer them.”  

2. A return to face-to-face  

“Some millennials, the older ones, know of a time when there were more face-to-face relationships,” Dufrain continues. “When you could walk into a branch and get things done. I'm a millennial and I’m open to this, and I know other people would be open to it, too, especially when it comes to making important decisions on certain products. If you're looking at investments, for example, I think there are many people who would value that opportunity.”  

3. Impartial and tailored advice 

George believes that when it comes to millennials and money, it's impartial, non-judgmental and tailored advice that cuts through. “For any company looking to advise them, they need to be aware that there's a degree of cynicism,” he explains. “I also think millennials have varying levels of literacy and knowledge – and that there is a huge market opportunity gap there.”  

Margaret Doyle, Chief Insights Officer and Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte, agrees: “Millennials are often – understandably – jaded and cynical because they've lived in major upheaval. As such, they do their own research, they question things, they expect more and are hesitant to listen until they know more about the motives behind a message.” 

4. An educational approach  

For George, the missing piece of the puzzle is education. “I believe that stressing the importance of financial planning and literacy – and teaching people how to manage their wealth – is even more important for this generation than it was for the previous ones. This will also be the case for the next generation. The banks that can nail that and hook people in when they are helping them will have an edge over the others. This will make them feel like they're being looked after in terms of supporting them with decisions from a planning and a wealth management point of view.” 

5. The right people at the right time  

Why should professional finance advisers (PFAs) engage millennials? Doyle stresses that while they may not be the most attractive age cohort in terms of their current wealth levels, over the next 10 to 30 years, many will be in a position where they are inheriting wealth. 

She says: “Even though at the moment, as a group, they may have a lot less money than, say, the Gen Xers or certainly the baby boomers, we know that what we’re about to experience is this huge intergenerational wealth transfer – the biggest ever.” 

George agrees: “It’s just a law of economics, isn’t it? It’s about building up your customer base so you can be sustainable and profitable – and that means targeting the right people at the right time in their lives.” 

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